Let’s Take It From The Top

Well, I’m here.  Right now, I am sitting at my dining room table in my new house, just outside Madrid.  Yes, I am in Spain, and yes, it’s permanent.  The last few days have been a blur.  I’ve gone through a huge array of emotions as I have tried to acclimate myself to my new home.  I flew out of New York on Saturday night as the northeast braced for a huge blast of cold winter air, and when I arrived, I was hit with temperatures in the fifties.  Back home it’s snowing and while it is certainly not hot here, I don’t envy those in Connecticut right now.

It was difficult to say goodbye to my friends and family, particularly my mother who I knew was hit emotionally the hardest.  She was clearly happy for me, as she sees how happy I am with Veronica, but at the same time, I understand how hard it is to be so far apart from the ones you love.  Luckily, thanks to things like Skype and Facebook I can still communicate quite easily with my family.  No, I won’t be there at my nephew’s next baseball game nor will I have the chance to see my niece start kindergarten, but they will always be in my heart and I will do my best to send them messages as often as possible.

I arrived in Madrid around 10:00 Sunday morning, Valentine’s Day, so it was very special to spend the day at home with Vero.  Once home from the airport, we stayed inside, so really I could have been anywhere, not just Spain.  It was yesterday that things finally hit me.  Vero had to go to work, but was only planning on working a half day, so we had the early afternoon to go into the city.  We planned on getting me a new cell phone so I could cancel my plan back home.  We had to take the train to the center of Madrid, and when we walked up the stairs to exit the train station, I was smack in the middle of the Puerta Del Sol, one of my favorite places to visit when I was in Madrid in May.  All of a sudden the memories of being here flooded back to me and I felt like I had never left.  We walked along the same sidewalks I had gone up and down only months ago and I saw so many of the same things I had seen back then.  I know Vero goes there for work every day, so for her, it was not so incredible, but for me, I couldn’t help but smile as I felt like I had finally come home.  She and I had a coffee at a nice little cafe just outside the royal palace, another favorite spot of mine, and when she went to work, I went to a Starbucks to set up my phone while I waited for her.  We got home around 9:00 in the evening, which I guess is pretty standard for her and I will have to adjust to that type of schedule, but I am sure everything will be fine once I have a job and a reliable way to get to the city.

Getting back to the center of Madrid could be a little tricky for me, at least for now, as I have no car and I am not so confident in taking the bus on my own just yet, so for today at least, I am trapped at home.  I may take the opportunity to walk around the neighborhood a little bit, just to familiarize myself with the area.  I know there is a library and a grocery store not far from here, but it’s a little cool out and I may just stay indoors today, as I still need to arrange many of my things.  I’ve found places for most of my clothes, but I feel like I still have a lot of junk I need to find a place for.  In some ways I feel like I should be doing more, but Vero is right, I need to relax a bit and take my time adjusting to being here.  We both agree it will probably take about a month or so before I feel fully at home here.

I still won’t be able to work for probably two months or so, but I have some money of my own and Vero insists on paying for almost everything.  That won’t last, I’m sure.  We talked a little yesterday about jobs and she did a little research for me into possible positions.  As I have said time and time again, I can most likely walk into any McDonald’s in Madrid and ask for a job, but I don’t really feel I gave up my entire life back home in the United States to cross the ocean so I could work at another McDonald’s.  I’m not saying I won’t do it, and I’m not saying I wouldn’t be successful if that is what I chose to do, but I think there are plenty of other opportunities here in Spain for me to take advantage of, given my ability to speak two languages.  Sure, I still stumble a bit when talking in Spanish, but Vero has suggested there are classes I can take for free to help improve my level of speaking before I try to get a job, and she thinks I would be a perfect fit to teach English to Spanish speaking adults.  As a matter of fact, I think I would enjoy teaching small groups of adults and surely it is a great way to meet more people here in Spain.  It’s funny.  For the first time in my life, I feel like I can really do anything I want.  It’s crazy to think I had to give up all that I had to feel so confident in myself.

In any case, I have the rest of the afternoon and early evening to rest up and get a little more settled in.  We will certainly talk more soon.  Until then…

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~ by James on February 16, 2016.

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